Tag Archives: Marilyn Monroe

This Day 90 Years Ago

Happy 90th Granny.

Thirty-two thousand eight hundred and seventy-four – that’s the number of days that my Granny has graced this world with her presence. You see, on this day 90 years ago my Granny was born. Ninety years – a life span that clearly laughs in the face of the Canadian average1.

It’s hard to imagine the life that my Granny has lived. Born at a time when insulin had only just been recently used to treat Diabetes, she lived through the Roaring Twenties, survived the great depression, witnessed the rise and fall of Hitler, saw the start of the atomic age, the moon landings, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the introduction of colour television, the first computers, space shuttles, the fall of the Iron Curtain, the building and dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and the untimely deaths of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon. She has lived through the administration of sixteen presidents. She lived during the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. She lived during Woodstock, Watergate, the resignation of Nixon, and the amazing movement for civil rights in the US. She has seen both the terrible and amazing things that humanity is capable of.

My mom, my Granny, and my Aunt – 226 years of awesomeness.

I’m sure as a child she had no idea that she would see any of the things she saw. I’m also pretty sure that she never would have thought that she’d be the mother to two daughters and a son2 one day. She probably had no idea that those two daughters would grow up to marry and have children of their own – her grandchildren. To imagine that her eldest daughter would have a son and a daughter, and that her youngest daughter would have four boys was likely the last thing on her mind. To look beyond that and realize that those grandchildren would give her 9 great-grandchildren probably didn’t enter her mind.

The grandkids and Granny. This pretty much sums up the family.

And yet, after 90 years on this earth she sat this eve surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren; all gathered to honour her, to celebrate her life, and all the amazing things she has accomplished. But most of all, we gathered today because the love she has given us is beyond anything that we could have asked for. The lessons she has taught us, the strength she has passed on to us, the smiles and laughter she has shared with us – those things above all else are why we treasure the amazing and beautiful woman who I affectionately call Granny.

Granny and her great-grandchildren.

Thank you Granny.

Thank you for infecting me with a sense of adventure and a love of travel. Thank you for spoiling me with your cookies and pies. Thank you for taking me on shopping adventures with you (and usually spoiling me). Thank you for all of the movies. Thank you for encouraging me, and bragging about me to your friends.  Thank you for being one of the most amazing women I know. But most of all, thank you for all of the love.

Happy birthday Granny.

1 In 1922 the average lifespan of a newborn Canadian female was estimated to be 61. In 2012 the average lifespan of a newborn Canadian female was estimated to be 83 years.

2 Who sadly passed away as a child.

525 Thousand Six Hundred Minutes Of Wanderlust

January 2011: This blog was born in a volcano in Hawaii. Okay, it wasn't born in the volcano, but it was born near it.

Wow. Time really flies when you’re having fun.

It’s hard to believe that I wrote my very first blog post here at Consumed By Wanderlust 1 year ago today: January 19, 2011. I won’t say that my re-entry into the blogging world was all that profound; I mean, my first post here was entitled “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)“. I’d like to believe that things have improved since that initial post. But let’s be honest, anything that followed “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)” had to be an improvement, right?

February 2011: This blog may have partied in NYC three times in the past year.

When I started the blog I had fully intended it to be a place for me to write about my adventures, my academic and health related pursuits, my nerdery, and other such related bric-a-brac. And for the most part, I think I’ve been successful in that respect.

March 2011: This blog saw my family of one become a family of two when Elliot came to rule my world

I also had intended the blog to be a place where I could identify challenges for myself, set goals, measure them in some way, and further keep track of the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to do (as I am rather forgetful). And again, I think for the most part I’ve been successful in this too.

April 2011: This blog saw me conquer the CN Tower and crush my old personal best time by more than 3 minutes!

However, there were also unintended consequences of this blog that I never would have ever foreseen. First and foremost this blog has taught me a lot about myself. That’s not to say that I didn’t often stop to reflect on my life prior to the blog – I did. But having to put into words the things that I have been thinking or feeling has been a great way to evaluate not only where I am and where I want to go, but more importantly who I am and who I want to be.

May 2011: This blog saw me finish my first ever marathon.

A second amazing and unforeseen consequence has been the development of new friendships. The online community has been (and continues to be) amazing. For those Bloggers and Tweeters  that I’ve been able to meet in real life and get to know outside of the interwebs, I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this past year has been and how awesome all y’all are. You are a group of amazing individuals who are unbelievably active in the community, who are charitable and positive, optimistic about life, health-minded, and never lacking in laughter and smiles. You have and continue to inspire me to be better at everything that I do. Your lust for life is addictive, and I thank you for getting me hooked on it.

June 2011: This blog saw me travel out east for the first time.

Finally, I would also never have foreseen that my blog would be read by so many. To date, this little-old-blog has been viewed almost 40,000 times. It has received over 1500 comments and is followed by over 500 people. I’m not sure where that stands in the grand scheme of blogging, but it’s far beyond what I ever had imagined. Truth is, when I started this adventure I figured I might get a few family and friends reading my posts. The fact that this blog receives over 100 views per day astounds me.

Anyway, here’s to another year of blogging and all the awesome things that it brings.

July 2011: This blog saw me attacked by a 26 foot Marilyn Monroe in Chicago
August 2011: This blog saw me kick my hernia to the curb.
September 2011: This blog saw me hanging in Montreal with Dr. Dixon
October 2011: This blog saw me conquer another mountain with Rick, and celebrate in the manner appropriate of a classy bitch.
November 2011: This blog saw me visiting my brother in the hospital after a nasty car accident.
December 2011: This blog saw me visiting with Arlene (in NYC) - one of the most amazing people I know

Some statistics, because, well, why not?

  • Total posts: 316 since January 19, 2011
  • Total page views: 38257
  • Average daily views in 2011: 103
  • Average daily views in 2012: 127
  • Total followers: 518
  • Total comments: 1516
  • Most common search term that brings people to my blog: sad babies, followed closely by pi

Attack Of The 26 Foot Woman

Day 2 in Chicago was filled with more wandering, eating, drinking (not all booze, by the way), and walking. The weather was perfect; there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, the humidity was low, and the temperature was just perfect.

Ben and I started our day off with breakfast at a local restaurant, before jumping on the subway to head downtown. We wandered the city, avoiding parts of Michigan Avenue so that we could avoid the crowds as best as possible. Our first stop was for some sort of coffee based beverage. We went to a Chicago born company called the Argo Tea Café. Based on the recommendation of one of the baristas, I ordered a 16oz small iced Maté Latte made with almond milk (which apparently only has about 90 Calories). Verdict: delicious and thirst quenching.

After satisfaction was found in the bottom of my Maté Latte, we moved on to the former library now known as the Chicago Cultural Centre to view the Tiffany Dome – the largest glass dome created by the company to bear its name. The building was beautiful, the dome was incredible, but I have to say my favourite part of the tour were the quotes from famous authors that decorated the walls. Specifically:

“A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Milton.

“A library implies an act of faith which generations still in darkness hid sign in their night in witness of the dawn.” Victor Hugo.

“The real use of all knowledge is this that we should dedicate that reason which was given us by god for the use and advantage of man.” Bacon.

and my personal favourite:

“He that loveth a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counsellor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.” Isaac Barrow.

Following the cultural tour we moseyed over to Millenium Park to see the giant Millenium Bean. And of course, play tourist by getting a bunch of stupid photos of ourselves in the reflection of the Bean. Awesome stuff.

The newly opened modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago offered up a spectacular lunch of olives, pickled vegetables, white fish mousse, and various deli meats. Oh, and a tasty Ebel’s Weisse beer.

Full and re-energized, we continued our tour of the town. Amazingly, we randomly stumbled on the Marilyn Monroe statue that I had blogged about here. It was like Marilyn was a siren and we just couldn’t resist her siren song. And just like a siren, she managed to crush me under her massive heel. Ha. I kid. Of course, I am proud to say that I was the only one (at least, the only person at the time that we were there) that thought to crawl under Marilyn’s giant foot and pretend that I was being crushed by her. Everyone else was doing the typical ‘look up her skirt’ shot, or ‘hold on to her leg’ shot. It might have been that I was just uber clever, but it was probably more that the ground was metal and thus a billion billion degrees. That is to say, I burnt my ass while I was pretending to be crushed by an angry 26 foot tall Marilyn Monroe. Regardless, the pain was worth the picture, in my honest opinion.

Wandering the city a little more, we made stops here and there to sample the local foods, drinks, etc. Eventually we ended up back at Ben & Erin’s place, tidied ourselves up and headed to dinner. Our dinner location is a newer restaurant that has opened up in Ben’s neighbourhood of Logan Square. Called Telegraph, the restaurant is a fantastic little wine bar with excellent food. We split an order of frog legs, and some lemon blueberry cake. This was paired with a 1977 Madeira that was so freaking tasty, the $20 per glass that we spent doesn’t seem enough. I am going to hunt this stuff down so that I can have a bottle on hand at home.

Oh, our dinner was also shared with one Rahm Emmanuel – you know, the Mayor and former Chief of Staff at the Whitehouse. Ya, that’s right. He heard I was coming to town and insisted that he had a seat directly beside mine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t up for having my picture taken with him, so he had to go home without the souvenir he wanted.

We ended the night at El Cid Number 2 where I had an espresso horchata (rice milk drink). So. Freaking. Good. Why are these not available everywhere?

Sadly, I leave tomorrow, but I still have an entire day of exploring Chicago to go. w00t!